Divorce is never fun. You have to pay legal fees, and, sometimes, tax preparation fees. I have been approached on many occasions by spouses needing a tax return filed as part of the requirements of a divorce-court proceeding. The only issue with these sorts of engagements is that portions of the return may be questioned by the other party’s legal representation.
It is important that you are clear with your CPA regarding what these returns will be used for. Some CPAs do not want to be embroiled in someone else’s legal battle and will not provide follow-up support for these returns. Make sure that your CPA is available to consult further should the opposing party request some tax-related details that your counsel may wish you to obtain.
Make sure to also discuss hourly rates – some forensic accountants in NY and SF will charge $400 per hour, while others (in less expensive states live FL) will charge as low as $250 per hour. This can make a huge difference, especially if many pages of financial records need to be reconciled.
Here are some tips:
- For married filing separate returns, you need your spouse’s name and DOB.
- Do not claim the same child more on more than one person’s return. Whoever had the child a majority of the time should be getting the deduction